Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

As we head towards the final week of the school year, the High School is as bustling as ever with exciting end of term events and activities for all our girls.

Thank you to all who have donated a book via Amazon for our Prep Library. We have very much appreciated your kindness. It has been so exciting when Mrs Hopper has a parcel delivered and opens it to find her newly donated books. For those wishing to donate, there is further information in the body of the Newsletter.

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Old Girls’ Summer Lunch on Saturday afternoon and spend time hearing from some of our alumnae. It is evident just how much the school means to those that have been a part of it, and how that family feeling never seems to disappear, even decades later. The ladies were delighted to watch the 140 anniversary photo montages video from the Old Girls. We then travelled down memory lane as I gave them a tour of school. Thank you to our wonderful Thomas Franks catering team for their fantastic hospitality and Mr Hall for organising such a lovely event. I am already looking forward to next year!

Yesterday evening staff, parents and girls gathered to bid our final farewells to our outgoing Upper Sixth. The atmosphere was less emotional than the Leavers’ Service before half term (only just, though!) and it was wonderful to be able to hear their many memories as a year group, celebrate their journey throughout school at the different stages and also say thank you to them, their parents and the staff for all their efforts, from parents playing taxi to sporting fixtures, to staff helping the girls through their exams. Many thanks to Mrs Wheeler, Mrs Gellately and Dr Alvey, and everyone who was involved in the organisation of the evening.

The girls were then let loose on Main Corridor for their ‘Muck Up’ day. The theme this year was ‘Cluedo’, and pupils taking part in a DHS-themed murder mystery, with suspects including Mrs Gardner, Dr Alvey, Mrs Sutcliffe, Miss Coulson, Mrs Lawrence-Wills, Miss Hill, Mr Coates, Mr Priest, Mr Cartmell and Miss Casey. It was an absolute triumph, and they did themselves proud! They then treated us to an assembly where they gave their version of a ‘Day in the Life of DHS’. It was very funny and cleverly done.

Further celebrations took place on Wednesday evening, when our Year 11 had their end of year Prom at Bowburn Hall. The girls looked phenomenal and had the best time letting their hair down and dancing the night away after working so hard during their GCSE examinations. I wish them the very best summer and look forward to seeing them all again on results day in August.

There has also been a flurry of exciting trips this week, including the Year 10 and Lower Sixth visit to Flamingo Land on Monday, and the Year 9 residential to Lakeside. Year 9 had a tremendous time in the sun, taking part in a variety of different adventure activities and teambuilding exercises, including sailing, high ropes and the challenge course!

Year 7 and 8 have been taking part in the annual Cross Curricular Project this week. The theme this year is ‘140 Years of DHS’. The girls have been looking at how life has changed over the last 140 years, with a particular focus on Durham and the High School. As part of the project, they visited Durham Cathedral and Palace Green, including the Palace Green Archaeology Museum.

On Tuesday, we had a group of Old Girls in school to talk to pupils about their time at the High School and how different things were to how they are today. We were then thrilled that some members of our Old Girls’ Association came in on Wednesday afternoon to hear the girls final presentations about what they have learned.

We were thrilled to be able to host our Pre-Prep Sports Day at the third time of asking, after the weather thwarted our previous attempts. It was almost planned to perfection and the weather was glorious as the girls in Nursery to Year 2 took to the track to compete for first, second and third place in the various events. Well done to all the girls for their fabulous efforts and thank you for coming out to support them in such large numbers.  Sports Day is another example of our wonderful school working together, with thanks to the PE Department for organising the day, our Sixth Form House Captains and Leadership Team for cheering on the girls, our Pre-Prep staff for helping to supervise the girls, the Catering Team for keeping parents suitably refreshed and to the Facilities Team for their efforts in getting the track ready. There are a selection of photos below, but please visit our Facebook page for more.

As I write this, I am very much looking forward to the Year 6 play, Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies this evening. The girls, supported by Miss Dobson and Mrs Tipple, have worked so hard on their performance and I’m sure it will be great.  I’ve also got everything crossed for the weather as we come together as a community to celebrate Durham High Live tomorrow. I hope you can join us.

Dates for your diary


Date Event Time
Saturday 29 June DHS Live! 1pm – 5pm
Monday 1 July



Durham High General Election

GCSE and A Level Art Show

Year 7 and 8 Play



7pm – 9pm

Tuesday 2 July Year 6 Celebration Assembly

Year 7 and 8 Play

2pm – 3pm

7pm – 9pm

Wednesday 3 July Senior Department Sports Day
Thursday 4 July Welcome Day

Year 8 Activity Day at Barnard Castle Hub

All day
Friday 5 July End of term – normal time End of day

Excellence Book

Congratulations to Eliana, Isabella, Eliza, Zoe, Sophie and Ginny who were invited by Mrs Hill to sign the Excellence Book earlier this week. They demonstrated their skills in Textiles this term by creating some amazing pieces of work. Mrs Hill was delighted to meet the girls, and their fabulous creations.

Today, it was the turn of Dhian, Elizabeth, Freya and Sarah to sign the Excellence Book. Dhian, Elizabeth and Sarah were nominated for outstanding care and attention to detail in the Kimono project. Freya was nominated for her exemplary attitude to learning and attainment in Maths throughout the whole year. Well done to all the girls who signed the Excellence Book this week.

Pre-Prep and Prep Library Donation

The library in Pre-Prep and Prep has been undergoing a transformation in recent months. We are very grateful to the Old Girls’ Association and Parents and Friends who have donated money towards new books and furniture. As part of our 140th anniversary celebrations, we would like to offer you the chance to donate a book to our library.

Clicking on this link will take you to our Amazon wish list. When checking out, please select “Carolyn Hopper’s Gift Registry Address” as the delivery address to assure it comes into school. A bookplate, acknowledging your donation, will be inserted into the front of every donated book. Thank you in advance!

Year 7 – Pond Dipping

Year 7 Biologists were enjoying a spot of pond dipping this week down in our nature reserve. Pupils were thrilled with their finds including several newts, dragonfly nymphs and an array of other pond creatures.

Crest Awards

We are very proud to report that four girls in Years 3 and 4 have gained their Crest Awards in Science Club. Crest is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), which aims to inspire young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers.

To gain an award, children need to complete at least eight science-based activities such as fingerprint identification, designing model bridges and making and testing a range of glues. Emelia, Lakinya, Ish and Isla worked on their projects for a period of twelve weeks to complete them, showing super perseverance in resolving technical issues to achieve great results, all while having fun!

Sport Update

Our U15s performed brilliantly in their final friendly cricket game of the season against Durham School on Tuesday winning by 24 runs. Well done to the girls for their hard work and commitment and congratulations to our players of the match who were Aleeza and Hannah E.

It was lovely to see the progress our U10s have made this season in their match against Newcastle High School for Girls on Thursday, with some great batting.  Well done to all players and special congratulations to Olivia who was awarded player of the match.

Staffing Update

Chemistry – Mrs Flavell has decided that after 14 years, she would like to pursue a new challenge and is moving back into the State Sector, to work in a large comprehensive school. She will be big shoes to fill and will be very missed, but we have been delighted with the appointment of Ms Brook who is an exceptional Chemist with vast experience in both our GCSE and A Level Syllabuses. She will take on the role of Head of Chemistry in September. 

PE – Mrs Lowery has secured a super promotion, as a Head of House in a large comprehensive school. We are sad to see her move on, however, she has been working towards a pastoral promotion for the last two years and I feel exceptionally proud of her achievement.

Marketing – Mr Hall has secured a marketing role and will leave the High School at the end of August. We will be advertising for a Marketing Manager in the very near future, so please keep your eyes on our School Website and if you know anyone with a fabulous marketing skill set who would be an asset to Durham High School, please point them in the direction of the advert.

Netball Camps

Our popular Netball Camps will be returning to Durham High School for Prep pupils this summer! The camp will run on the following dates:

  • Thursday 25 July & Friday 26 July 9:30-3:30pm
  • Monday 29 July & Tuesday 30 July 9:30-3:30pm
  • Tuesday 27 August – Friday 30 August 9:30-3:30pm.

Miss Cartwright and Miss Coulson will be running the camp for girls in Years 3-6. The camp is open to all girls, those who attend Durham High School and external girls too.  Activities will include games, group drills, individual player development, and plenty of match play. For more information and to book a place for your daughter, please email [email protected].